Pharos Fund FAQ


General

Save your application regularly. This will update pre-populated fields later in the application and protect all the information previously entered.

  • To save the application in order to return to it later, simply click “save.”
  • When ready to re-open the application, you will find it under “pending requests.” Click on your application, and then click “edit” in the top right corner.
  • Once your application is completed and saved, click “submit” at the top of the application. Once your application is submitted, edits are no longer possible.

Update your organization and contact information.

  • From the main page of the grantee portal, click the link on the left side of the page called “organizations,” then click "edit."
  • To edit contact information, click the link titled “people,” then click “edit.”

What do reviewers look for in a strong application?

  • Successful applications have a strong fit with one of the Community Programs goals and subgoals, clearly articulate the need or opportunity the organization or program seeks to address in the local community, and can identify the impact their organization or program is having on that need through specific outcome data.
  • Please read the sections on goal fit and impact below for more information.

Guidelines

Please review the Pharos Fund guidelines for detailed information about Community Programs goals, Pharos Fund eligibility, and what we look for in a strong Pharos Fund proposal.

Can faith-based organizations apply?

  • Yes. Faith-based organizations are eligible to apply to Pharos Fund. However, applications may not include activities that support or promote a specific religious purpose. Programming provided by faith-based applicants must be open to the wider community without regard to the participant’s religious beliefs. Programming must not include proselytizing or mandatory attendance at any religious service.

  • Type of Support

    Is there a funding preference towards general support vs. program/project requests?

  • No. We are responsive to the needs of nonprofits and applicants should determine what type of funding is most beneficial to their organization. All applications are reviewed individually across all request types. Requests for general support are still required to indicate where Pharos funding will be allocated.

  • Timelines

    What do you mean by request timeline?

    • The timeline for the work described in your application, also known as your grant term.
    • Timelines cannot exceed 12 months and ideally align with your organization’s fiscal year.

    What should I do if my Pharos Fund request timeline doesn’t align with my organization’s fiscal year?

    • Please contact us before proceeding with your application, as additional documents may be required with your application.

    What do you mean by prior year?

    • Your prior year is the most recent fully completed 12-months of providing services.
      • For example, if your request timeline is 1/1/2019 – 12/31/2019 your most recently fully completed prior year is 1/1/2017 – 12/31/2017. Since 2018 is not yet completed, it would not count as the most recent fully completed 12-month period.

    What do you mean by gap year and why is it important?

    • If there is more than a six-month time period between the end of your prior year and the start of your request timeline, you have a gap year. In most cases, your gap year is also your current program or organization year and will not be completed prior to submitting your application.
      • For example, if your request timeline is 1/1/2019 – 12/31/2019, your most recent fully completed prior year is 1/1/2017 – 12/31/2017 and your gap year is 1/1/2018 – 12/31/2018.
    • Because of the large gap between your prior year and request timeline, we ask for additional information. Budget and participant information for your gap year is required.

    Participants

    How do I choose the correct participant category?

    • The three participant categories include:
      • Youth: participants 18 and under or youth enrolled in formal K-12 education
      • Individuals: participants of any age (e.g.: 0-99)
      • Families/Households: family units and/or households of any age
        • Please note, if you select “families/households” the numbers you provide in the table should identify only the unit or household numbers, not all the individuals within the household. (e.g.: 5 families, not 20 individuals).
      • Choose the participant category that best aligns with your request. This should be the participants you are directly serving.
        • Direct vs Indirect: Direct participants are those you are immediately serving. Indirect participants are those impacted due to the result/action of the direct participants.
        • For example, if you train adult professionals who will then use their training while working with youth, the direct participants would be the adult professionals and you would select “individuals” as your participant category. The youth would be indirect participants.

    How do I complete the participant table(s)?

    • Include the total number of participants directly served by your organization (if a general support request) or by the proposed program or project (if a program or project request).
      • For example, in the training example above, if you directly train 20 adults who then work with 200 students, you would only enter the 20 adults into the table.
    • Do not limit the numbers served to the Pharos Fund’s geographic boundary. We are interested in seeing the entire scope of your work, regardless of geographic location.
    • These numbers should also represent unduplicated participants to the extent possible.
    • Complete the prior year and gap year participant tables in the same way, if applicable.

    What if we serve a large number of individuals indirectly?

    • If there is a clear, quantifiable connection between your programming and the participants who it impacts indirectly, please include that information either in your program description and/or in the participant demographic question. The above example of the teacher training program would be a good example of an additional 200 indirect participants (students) impacted by the program. Please do not include indirect participants that your activities only tangentially reach.

    PSD Coordination

    How do I know if I’m coordinating with PSD?

    • This section is only for requests that are providing programming directly with a PSD school or classroom.
    • If your organization or program/project serves participants enrolled in PSD, but programming is unrelated to the school system, please select “no” in this section.

    Goal Fit

    How do I know what goal/subgoal fit is the best choice for my request?

    • Please carefully read through our Community Programs goals document to help determine the best fit.
    • Choose only one goal and subgoal that your request most closely aligns with. Alignment with more than one goal or subgoal does not strengthen your application.
    • Goal fit is the first level of review for Pharos applications. Applicants must articulate a strong alignment with one of our goals and subgoals to be competitive in the review process.
    • Although Bohemian Foundation staff are not able to provide a definitive decision about goal fit for a specific application before it is submitted, we are happy to talk through questions you have about our goals as you are preparing your application.

    Is there a funding preference by goal area?

    • No. All applications are reviewed individually across all goal areas.

    What types of requests fit the vibrant community goal?

    • Strong vibrant community (VC) goal applications will demonstrate a broader community impact and influence beyond the applicant’s own organization and specific client base.
    • The primary goal fit assessment will focus on alignment with the overall VC description. Please review the Community Program Goals (page four) for more detail and to ensure your proposal aligns with the intent of the VC goal. The introductory paragraph on page four is a great place to start to learn more.
    • For single-focus organizations without separate programs, it is important to demonstrate how your organization aligns with the VC goal.

    Impact

    What do you mean by the specific need or opportunity your application is trying to address?

    • Your statement of need (or opportunity) establishes the focus and rationale for your program or organization. In this section, please articulate the specific need you are trying to address through your organization’s mission and programs.
    • We want to understand that your request is addressing a specific, local, community need. We want to know what need your request is addressing, as well as how you know it’s a need.
    • Where possible, use relevant local data which describes the need in this community. In some instances, local data may not be available and applicants may choose to reference regional or statewide data. While statewide or national data may be referenced, please try to describe how it’s relevant to the local context.
    • Cite your data sources. Try to use current data, when available.
    • For example, if your organization focuses on ensuring that students are meeting the third-grade reading mark, you would explain why that is a need, not only for those students in general, but also specific to this community.
      • Example: In 2014, 83% of all PSD 3rd graders read at grade level, while only 56% of PSD’s Hispanic students and 60% of PSD’s FRL students did. Research shows that 3rd graders that don’t read at grade level are 4 times more likely to not graduate from high school. (PSD’s Monitor Report.)

    Before applicants begin writing answers to the outcome-related questions, what’s most important to keep in mind?

    • We look to applicants to: a) identify the most important measurable outcomes for your organization or program; b) explain how your organization or program is doing on those measurable outcomes; and c) present what can be done to improve your organization's or program's performance.

    What do you mean by measurable outcomes?

    • Measurable outcomes are the specific targets by which you measure your organization’s or program’s progress and the impact on the need or opportunity you identified.
      • For example, if the need you identified is that X% of students are not reading at grade level, a measurable outcome related to that need would be to increase the percentage of students reading at grade level.
    • When describing your outcomes, provide specific information and/or data to explain how these outcomes will impact the need or opportunity you identified.
      • For example, if another outcome is to increase time spent reading at home, you could use the narrative section to explain why reading more at home relates to increased reading levels.

    How do I complete the outcomes table?

    • In the outcomes table (see the screenshot below), describe how your request will measure progress during the grant term (also known as request timeline) towards each of your three most important measurable outcomes.
    • In the first column, briefly identify the main outcome. In the second column, indicate where participants will enter your program. This is the baseline from which you measure progress towards outcome targets. In the third column, indicate your outcome targets for participants. This is where you expect participants to be, or what they will have achieved, at program completion or the end of the grant term (request timeline), whichever comes sooner. In the fourth column, provide results from the previous 12-month period in relation to your request year. For example, if your request year is the calendar year 2018, show us the results from the 2017. In the final column, please explain how the specific outcome will be measured.

    Outcomes Table Example

    Why are you interested in our past two to three years of outcome results?

    • We are looking to understand the measurable results you’ve achieved over time.
    • If your outcome targets have changed based on past results, please explain.
    • If you experienced challenges in reaching your outcome targets, that’s okay. We are interested in understanding what you are learning and how you are using that information to make adjustments or improvements.

    How is this different from the prior year outcomes you ask for in the table?

    • With the prior year outcomes in the table, we are interesting is seeing a side-by-side comparison your expected request year outcomes with the most recently completed year of outcomes. The question about the past two to three years of outcomes will provide us with a longer-term context and gives you the opportunity to describe your progress over a longer timeframe.

    We serve participants for longer than our request timeline of 12 months. How can we tell you about the outcome targets for the full program instead of just the grant term (request timeline) of 12 months?

    • We understand that some organizations and programs serve participants well beyond the length of the grant term. We want to understand both your overall outcomes for the program, and the outcomes you expect to achieve during the grant period. Use the narrative questions (either the description of the top three outcomes or past outcome results) to articulate your organization's or program’s overall outcome targets.

    We are a new program or organization, so we do not have any past outcome results. What information should we provide?

    • If you are a new organization or program, we are interested in learning how you determined the selected outcome targets.

    Expense and Revenue

    How do I fill out the revenue table? (See the screenshot below.)

    • Provide a breakdown of your revenue sources into the specified categories.
    • The total revenue amount in the table should match your uploaded revenue budget.
    • The revenue should be specific to the type of support you are requesting. If you are applying for a general support grant, provide your overall organizational revenue. If applying for program or project support, please provide only the revenue specific to that program or project.
    • If your program or project receives a percentage of overall organizational revenue from a source, please include that in the appropriate table categories as well.
      • For example, if your organization receives a general support grant from a foundation for $50,000 and you allocate 10% of that to the program you are requesting funding for, you would include $5,000 in the “Foundation and Corporate Grants” category in the table.

    Revenue Table

    What documents do I need to include with my application?

    Can I submit any additional documents or photos that help explain our work?

    • No. Please do not submit additional documentation as it will not be reviewed and/or shared with the review committee. If there is additional information you believe is important for the review committee to know when considering your application, please include that in the “Additional Information” question at the end of the application.

    How do I submit correct budget documents?

    • Make sure the timelines on your budget documents match the timelines you’ve entered in your application.
    • Budget totals in uploaded documents should match budget totals you’ve provided in the application.
    • Revenue information should be restricted to the type of request (if program or project), and can include committed as well as projected/pending funding sources.

    Formatting Documents:

    • We give all submitted documents as-is to reviewers. We cannot reformat or edit them for you, so please make sure they are clear and easy to read and understand.
    • Budgets may be submitted in any format (Excel or PDF).
    • Please make sure that all columns fit on one page width when printed.
    • Please include page numbers and carry over column headings if the document is more than one page in length.
    • Make sure that all print settings for your document are as you would like them (e.g.: no overhanging columns or only one row on the second page)
    • Clearly label all documents (both the file name and in the document header).
    • Make sure the timeline for which the budget covers is clearly labeled.
    • For program and project grants, make sure the specific line items your Pharos request will be allocated towards are clearly identified in your budget documents. (See example below.)

    Prior Year Budget to Actual

    • Prior year budget-to-actual documents should include both the prior year budget and the prior year actual expenses on the same page. (See example below.)

    Prior Year Budget to Actual

    Do you have an indirect cost policy?

    • It is okay to include indirect costs on request budgets. There is no specific percentage guideline, however reviewers will assess budgets for a clear connection between the request and any indirect/overhead costs.

    What information do I include in the Top 5 Funding Sources document?

    • First, be sure you are using the Excel template provided.
    • Philanthropic Revenue: These sources of revenue include grants (foundation or corporate), individual donations, and revenue from fundraising events.
    • Non-Philanthropic Revenue: Any other revenue sources not included in the philanthropic section, including government grants (e.g. CDBG).
    • Important note: include this Pharos request only if it is one of your top five revenue sources.
    • These top five funding sources should be reflected in your uploaded revenue budget and in the requested revenue section.
    • If your organization or the proposed program has recently lost one of your top five funding sources, please include it in this section and mark the status as “declined.” Including this information helps us understand the overall funding situation for your organization or program and will not be considered negatively in the review.
    • If you do not have five sources in one of the above categories, less than five is alright.

    Revenue Source


    Post-Application

    When is an interim report required for my Pharos award?

    • Interim reports are not required for all Pharos awards. If your organization has an active grant, for the same request that you are applying for this round (either program or general support), please contact us to discuss the interim reporting process.
    • Final reports are required for all grants.

    Do I need to submit a final report for my prior Pharos award?

    • Yes. Please reference Section 4 in your grant agreement for more details about the timing and content of the report. The final report format is in the grantee portal under the “reports due” heading on the left side of the page.

    How do I submit a report?

    I still have questions. Where can I find out more information?

    • Visit our Application Assistance page for workshop information.
    • Schedule a Pharos Fund information session with our grants administrator to discuss Community Programs goals and Pharos Fund guidelines.
    • Contact our grants administrator by phone at 970.221.2636 or via email.
      • Kelly Robenhagen: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.